Thursday, September 12, 2013

Donating Hair=Shedding Baggage!

The last time I had my hair cut for more than just a small trim was over three years ago.  I wasn't growing it out specifically, or not cutting on purpose, I just never cut it.  Maybe it was a time thing but for some reason, I just let it grow on and on.  A while back, the thought crossed my mind that I could probably donate it by now.  The very next thought in my head was, no way, your face is too chubby still.  The last time I had my hair very short was when I lost my baby weight with Ryley.  I gained all that weight back when I had Avery and I still have yet to lose it.  In my head, I kept thinking, I need to get back to my pre-baby weight, and then short hair will look right.  I kept telling myself that my hair helped me to feel beautiful, when sometimes I really didn't feel outwardly very beautiful with all that baby weight hanging around still.  Recently I read a book by a lady named Lesa Terkheurst called Made to Crave.  The subtitle is Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God Not Food.  You can not imagine how much this book has changed my perspective.  I've blogged before about learning to love oneself with all your flaws, but some days, that's easier to do than others.  Reading this book has really opened my eyes to the self deflating thoughts I still sometimes have about myself.  Reading this book made me realize I was hanging onto my hair just to have a reason to feel pretty.  Lesa's book guided me to scriptures that I have read before but really hit home for some reason this time!! 

Psalm 139:14 NIV  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Also  Psalm 73:26  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

That being said, I am using what I've read and learned to help me make better food choices, and to help me grow in spirit with the Lord.  I remind myself daily of my worth in HIM.  Feeling worthy, feeling loved, feeling perfect.  Those things all come from God, not from hair, from weight loss or gain or beauty of any sort.  I've really felt lighter because of this lately, and today, I took a step forward in trusting God's view of me as beautiful.  I donated my hair!!  Now I feel legitimately lighter!! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Night time potty issues

Okay parents.  I need your help.  A little background info:  both Lilly and Ryley potty trained very early.  We just let them tell us they were interested and made it a no pressure, laid back learning process.  It worked very well for day time potty training and they were both close to 100% day time trained by age two.  It took much longer for Lilly to be able to go all night without being wet, and I had a few conversations with our pediatrician about it.  He assured me it was something you could not "train" a child to do, that you simply have to wait for their body to be ready.  Right around her fourth birthday, Lilly was able to be free of diapers or pull ups completely.  Fast forward to Ryley's impending fourth birthday.  About a year ago, when the baby came along, we expected some regression.  However, the opposite happened.  She decided diapers were for babies and she wanted to wear panties at night.  So we let her and for a few months only two accidents.  Then we had a big bed switch up and she went from her toddler bed into the bottom bunk with Lilly on the top bunk.  And que the night time accidents.  We decided not to worry too much about it, maybe she just wasn't physically ready and we went back to (cloth) diapers for night time.  Some mornings she was wet, sometimes dry.  However, about two weeks ago Ryley decided again she wanted to wear panties at night.  Since we've been letting her steering this potty training train, we agreed.  At my mom's suggestion, we tried making her potty when she goes to bed, then waking her when we go to bed and letting her potty and then see if she can make it through the night.  My daughter is, for lack of a better word, a grump when she first wakes up.  She needs a minute (or ten) to really wake up to her sweet spunky self.  So, in the middle of the night, waking her up to pee has been interesting to say the least.  Kicking and screaming sometimes, refusing to pee, and all of this because I am convinced she is still, for the most part, asleep.  If she actually empties her bladder, she is totally dry in the morning.  If she fights and refuses, sometimes wet.  She doesn't seem to want to go back to diapers but she doesn't seem to be able to be dry for 12 hours consistently, without us waking her in the night.  We had these awesome cloth trainers we used for a long time and it was the best of both worlds!  She has to have cloth and these are like a pull up and she loved her trainer panties!  She is way too big for them now though, and I don't want to invest in more because I don't think she will need them much longer.  We will most likely use cloth trainers for Avery but I am not convinced she will ever need the size I would have to buy for Ryley.  So where does this leave us?  Does anyone have any advice?  What else could we try?  Thanks for reading and helping if you can!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ready, set.....GO!

  Well, not really ready, set, go BUT she's working on it!  I honestly thought Avery would be well past the one year mark before walking.  Lilly was in the 9 month range and Ryley in the 10 month range when they started walking.  Avery is shortly going to be 11 months old.  She is pulling up on things but really shows no interest in standing alone or cruising along the furniture, much less walking.  Actually, she only has recently figured out how to get back down once she stands up to something.  As far as I am concerned, I hope all these milestones take forever to reach.  I am glad she took a while to crawl, to cut teeth, to feed herself.  It just means maybe I can keep her my little baby that much longer.  Granted, she will always be my BABY but she won't be a baby much longer.  Know what I mean?  You mommas, I know you know.  As far as feeding goes, she went from hating table food, to accepting only table food and almost totally rejecting a bottle in the last month or so.  Basically we are down to maybe 10 ounces or less a day.  It is seriously depressing, I LOVE cuddling her close and that time is dwindling fast. 
  Anyhow, the whole point of this is because the other day I was in the kitchen doing homework with Lilly when Carl shouted for me to come in the living room.  I came in and Avery was busily emptying a laundry basket onto the floor.  Then he picks her up and drags the basket back to the other side of the room.  He says, "watch this!"  Avery stands herself up on the basket and proceeds to push the basket across the floor.  Walking.  My kid.  The one who scooted on the floor for MONTHS.  The one that who's never even cruised around furniture!  I was shocked, I didn't see that coming at all!  I got it all on video, it was so cool!  And scary.  And sad.  These moments really do sneak up on you, I feel like we were just bringing her home from the hospital yesterday!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Gun Control Controversies

  Every day, something happens that I think would make a funny, profound, enjoyable, entertaining, thoughtful or even just silly blog post.  Then I get busy doing something else and forget all about my blog.  Even my personal journal has taken a big hit lately.  I have about 2 months worth of dated notes on scrap paper, just waiting for me to add to my journal!  I say this a lot, but it seems like I am always busy, always doing something, but somehow, nothing ever gets done!  I know this is an exaggeration, but it feels true!

  I avoided blogging or facebooking or talking to most people in person over the last few months about anything remotely political.  I am actually pretty reluctant to even write about it right now.  As I am typing this, I am debating about whether or not I will even post it when I am done writing.  That being said, I feel like I ignore or bottle up lots of feelings when it comes to reading lots of facebook posts lately.  I am 100% okay with having different opinions and political stances than my friends.  I am also okay with a little bit of controversy, but after watching a very public election go down last November, it seems like lots of people can't talk rationally when it comes to these sorts of topics.  BUT, I wanted to talk about some things that have bugged me.  Know that whomever reads this, I value your opinion, even if I disagree.  I am just hopeful someone might read this and enlighten me.

  Tell me, why all the gun control posts?  Why are people so freaked out that the current administration is going to "take away our 2nd amendment rights"?  How are these new laws somehow going to effect an individuals right to possess a firearm?  Where does it read, "Obama is gonna take away your guns!!"  I've read the proposed legislation, and it includes a ban on assault weapons, restrictions on high-capacity ammunition magazines and strengthening federal background checks of people attempting to buy guns. What part of this says, you can no longer possess a firearm?  This is what I don't understand.  When the 2nd amendment was written, I doubt that our forefathers could imagine a fully automatic weapon.  How does banning this sort of thing from the average America hinder our second amendment rights?  I am all for being able to protect our families and proudly own weapons, but I don't see why anyone needs such a weapon.  My husband says jokingly, "but babe, they are so fun to shoot!"  Maybe so, but really, why does anyone need one?  Help me understand why this ban, especially this particular point is so bad?!  Also, why shouldn't people have thorough background checks when purchasing weaponry?  Any honest, law abiding citizen should not balk at this sort of change.  If you want a gun to protect your family, what difference does a day or two make?  If you are looking to shoot up a school or mall, I could see how this might bother you.  I have heard lots of people argue, "but criminals don't follow the laws!"  Obviously this is true, or they wouldn't be criminals!   However, if small changes could prevent even a few lives lost, why is this a bad thing?!  Making guns more easily available is definitely NOT going to save any one's life. 

  I won't claim to be politically savvy in any way.  I don't know everything about these laws, and I can't claim to understand why people choose to make poor choices.  I've read this lately in FB posts,  "guns don't kill people, people kill people." or something along those lines.  I couldn't agree more.  I am not saying this proposed "gun ban" is going to stop bad people from doing bad things, but I don't know why it so bad for us as a nation to try to take steps toward a safer world.  Please by all means, tote your 12 gauge along with me!  Go learn to shoot and be proud of it!  But put away your fully automatic high capacity weapon.  If you aren't a sniper in the army, you don't need it.  Thank you.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Loving myself, inspite of body issues!

  Busy doesn't even being to encompass how I have felt lately.  I keep saying, lets just get through this one thing and then surely it will slow down a little.  And instead, life with three just keeps on truckin'.  I have neglected my blog profusely, but I resolve to try to keep up a little better.  A pre-New Years resolution, if you will.  Maybe my next post can be an annoying compilation of all the things I have missed blogging about.  However for now, I am going to just write about this.  My body issues.  I have had a weight problem for what feels like my whole life.  I was self conscious in high school about it, but looking back, I was very normal and average weight, and it was a typical teenage girl body issues.  Since gaining more than the "freshman 15" in college, I have gone up and down with marriage, babies and Weight Watchers in between.  I really do long to lose more baby weight, and all the extra that was hanging out from before.  $ and time are an issue now, but for now, I resolve to do this instead.  To 1) Make better choices daily, and 2) Not to get down on myself for making a bad choice and moving on the the next day and 3) To love myself more, and to love myself openly.  I have fought hard (so far) to keep my girls from having weight or body image issues.  I have fed them the right things, encouraged active lifestyles but I think the one things that's missing is my attitude about my own body.  Yes, I have gained weight.  I think 9 months later, I can't keep blaming it on Avery and pregnancy.  No, I am not the size I want to be, but YES I do love ME and I love what my body grew and nourished.  I RESOLVE to say this daily to my girls.  Its so easy to smile at their little faces and tell them how beautiful they are inside, and out.  Maybe hearing it from me about myself instead of worrying about aging skin, jeans that don't fit right, stretch marks and saggy breasts will be just what my girls need to be confident and secure in a world that judges women primarily on looks alone.  If you are a mom of girls (and boys too!) please joining me in making an effort to outwardly love ourselves more!
The blog post below inspired me to write these thoughts down, please go check it out too!

Monday, August 27, 2012

6 months and counting.

  When Carl and I married, children (God willing) were a given.  We had some discussions about how many we'd like to have, but never settled on a definite number.  His only input was we definately needed more than one, since he grew up an only child.  (His parents lost his sister when she was only a few weeks old)  I come from a family of four kids, and I have a huge number of cousins with whom I am very close, so having a "big" family has always been something I wanted.  There was no doubt in my mind, when Lilly was born, we would have more.  Lots of people asked if we were done when Ryley came along.  I would say to them, God willing, at least one more!

  Now, our little girl #3 is here, and already having her half year birthday!  Not something particularly exciting to "celebrate" but it feels like another milestone.  I have survived three kids for six months and I have lived to tell the tale!  It has been more joyful and more difficult than I imagined it would be.  I have a few close friends who have two kids and would like more but their husbands all have been using the man-to-man vs. zone defense argument.  There is no doubt, we are outnumbered here!  However, I wouldn't change it for anything. 

  I also have to wonder, if I'd had a son, would I be wondering, "am I really done having kids?"  I was always a tom boy, loved sports and the outdoors.  I always pictured myself raising sons for some reason.  Now here I am, knee deep in princesses, ponies and pink stuff, and loving it!!  A friend of mine, blessed with five beautiful kids said to me once (her youngest a girl), "I really wanted her to be a boy, but I have never been so glad I have her in my life."  Its true, God gives us what we need, not what we want!  Even though I felt the heartache and disappointment when we discovered Avery was a girl, I can not imagine not having her in my life.  I can't picture any other face in her place.  I can't wait to see her grow up with her sisters learning all things girly, and all things tom boy-ish too! 

  Recently, I started tagging winter clothes Avery has already grown out of, and a variety of other baby things, for a local consigment sale.  I have had quite a few weepy moments putting those little baby things on hangers and sending them out my door.  I kept the few that meant the most to me, but really it was monumental, the thought that all my babies weren't tiny babies anymore, and none of them would ever wear this outfit or that outfit again.  It wasn't the clothes, just the memories that choked me up.  I can honestly say (again, unless God sees fit to surprise us) that the Groce baby factory is done making babies.  Its just hard to believe my child bearing days are over.  I have a pang of jealous when my friends talk about their pregnancy, but I can honestly say I don't want to do it again.

  I can also say this: I still want to have a son.  If we survive three kids for a few more months, maybe a few more years, just maybe I can talk my husband into adoption.  Its something thats been on my heart for a while, and I've been praying and thinking maybe this is why God gave me three daughters, so I would pursue adding to our family through adoption.  I guess thats a post for a different day.
  So, pray for us, our family and future decisions, and from mommy to Avery Pearl, happy 6 months baby girl!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

An eventful August day!

  I've seen lots of posts about the first day of school lately, and an incredible number of kindergartner's headed off to school this August!  2006 (and 2007) was a good year!  I've seen lots of my mom friends (and some dads) reminisce about how it feels like only yesterday they were bringing him/her home from the hospital.  Seems cliche to say, but it is so true.  Last night, I was cuddling Avery at bedtime and was thinking about how it feels like Lilly was this size, then I blinked, and now she is 5, going on 6, and starting school.  Where does that time go?  I am so lucky have gotten to spend my days home with all my girls, but how could almost 6 whole years with my baby Lilly have gone by so fast?  I know this is just the tip of the iceberg, but it feels so monumental. 

  Here she is before we left for school, saying bye to Pee Wee, her favorite doggie.  She really wanted to take Pee Wee to school and was upset that I wouldn't let her.  I think she wanted a little comfort, because as excited as she was to be off to school, she was definitely nervous too.  Big changes ahead!

  I've said all along, I thought Ryley would take Lilly's absence pretty hard.  She has a great imagination, but Lilly directed so much of what the girls did on a day to day basis, I don't think Ryley really knows what to do with herself.  She has been my shadow all day!  However, I've been facing the fact that all these changes are inevitable (unless I chose to home school, which I am not interested in). I think it will really turn into a growing and learning experience for both Ryley and I.  She and I can now spend some special time just the two of us, and she can (hopefully!) develop as she learns to play on her own more.  Its been bittersweet as we move into a new stage of life in our family!  I hope all your kiddos had a great first day back to school too!!